The Bucs did a great job filling out their roster through out the 2022 NFL Draft. The team drafted several players that fit team needs and have potential. Now that the draft has finished, Tampa Bay could turn its focus on the third wave of free agency. Starting Monday after 4:00 pm ET, teams will no longer be penalized for signing players against the compensatory formula.
While the determining factors are complicated, if a team loses more players than it signs during free agency, that team is eligible to be awarded compensatory picks in the following years NFL draft. As it stands the Bucs are projected to receive two compensatory picks next year, according to OverTheCap.com. They are expected to receive a fifth-round selection for losing safety Jordan Whitehead and a seventh-rounder for the loss of O.J. Howard.
The Bucs were scheduled to receive one for Alex Cappa’s departure, but the signing of Russell Gage cancelled it out. And there is still an outside shot they could get a seventh-round comp pick for Ronald Jones II leaving if he hits incentives in his contract.
So what does all this mean?
The Bucs can dip back into the free agent pool without risking the loss of a compensatory pick. The team’s own free agents like Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh never counted toward the formula. So they could be re-signed at any time.
However, if Tampa Bay wanted to bring in a veteran it could do so now without losing any compensatory picks in 2023. In one of our recent Pewter Report Roundtables each Pewter Reporter outlined free agents they thought could be potential fits. The draft might have altered some of those options. Although inside linebacker, outside linebacker and defensive tackle could be positions the team could target after Monday.